Diary.

Blogroll, Finland, Winter frolics

I’ve been keeping a diary for some time now – for various reasons. It has helped me to focus and stay sharp; also, it is a habit that I have been able to keep. The problem is that it has kept me from sharing myself online, which I think is a pity. Not that my visitor numbers would be high, I just thought I could peeking out again. So hello!

Reeds and attempts of ice on an unusually warm Sunday in late January. In South Finland, that is. Wait, it is February already… this picture has just lost some of its charm 😀

I have been properly activating myself, signing up for a lot of voluntary activities that I do not burn for (that was the idea) and trying to get busy with art again although a certain someone has been successfully stopping me from it. I have been rather grateful lately – for health, for material wealth, for wisdom and… for the fact that I have been able to avoid ways of living that would destroy me in the long run. Also, for the skills I have been developing in the past years – patience, fatigue resistance and humbleness.

And I think that Dry February is absolute bullsh*t – everybody who feel like they should take part in it might like to look at their alcohol consuming habits and other life choices in general. But the whole challenge made me think about my identity, my presence, my visibility.

I’m afraid I will never make it into the news – I’m not an exceptional scientist (in fact, I do not want to work in research), I don’t take drugs or drink and I don’t think I will need to recover from dependency on these, I don’t live in a country exotic enough to my compatriots and because I ignore social media I remain invisible to most people (including my peers). My health troubles have prevented me from achieving what I had imagined, but they are not interesting or serious enough. My art is breakthrough in its honesty, that is, how little I depend on Photoshop and general augmentation and instead rely on tangible media. My life is not drastically minimalist or zero-waste, my taste is somehow different but not crazy enough. I’m not exceptionally anything, but I’m exceptional. And I feel good about that.

20&20.

Art, Blogroll, Finland, Lifestyle

It took me a short while to write that first post of 2020 – I thought it would be a bold post full of emotions, resolutions, plans, optimism and gratitude. It did not turn out so, instead, I’m here to tell everyone that I probably have a roller-coaster-ride year ahead. And also I so need to share with you how tired and low-key depressed I am and how much I’m bubbling inside, impatient to create.

I’m now writing pieces of my theses, some days I enjoy it more than others, most times I get frustrated over my own inabilities and un-s and in-s and dis-s. And then there are days like today, when I go and pick up L* from daycare, the sun is shining and we take the long way to the shops. Via parks, swings, duck ponds and reminders of winter that is yet to come. Every day like this makes me realise how much hard work I – and most of us – put into the beige or grey mass of everyday life in hope of getting happy moments of shiny success or glory. But at the end of the day, the most satisfying pleasures are the every day ones. Just like eating that 80% chocolate or pressing the stop button on the bus.

Tiny treasure.
We found some colours outside! In January.
I just made a visual statement: it is January after all, although a bit less wintery for my liking.

Enough of basic bitch life wisdom – the time is.. late so I’d better join my better third in bed and see what tomorrow will bring! Hopefully not another headache.

What I miss from Czechia.

Blogroll, Lifestyle

Pretty much all expats miss (and will definitely tell you about) certain material things from their home countries – this is nothing rational, rather, pure materialised homesickness and nostalgia. Typically, those little things are by no means necessary for survival in the new country and can be enjoyed through all respective senses and are often connected to the taste and smell of home (I’m not too thick on Czech sweets, soda, booze, or cuisine), or, have something to do with the overall comfort of life. In my case, these are things related to accessibility of networks, services, and to arts and crafts.

So what are the things I miss most from Czechia,

my fatherland given up a long time ago?

Family and friends – goes without saying.

Stores. (German-style) drugstores. Affordable organic produce stores. Variety of and in stores. Stationery stores (!). Toy stores. Convenience stores.

Koh-i-noor and Centropen stationery.

Marinated beef sirloin with cream sauce – like once a year.

Proximity of Europe and easy train/car travel to the rest of Europe.

Variety of flours.

Variety of shoe brands available, including Czech brands. I’m tired of those four (sub-par) shoestore chains in Finland.

Herbal and homeopathic remedies widely available.

Ingredients for making own detergents and cleaning products as a part of a non-toxic life style.

This kind of ruler. Sorry, but how on earth do kids learn to draw perpendicular lines in other countries?

And of course the landscape, although I never thought I would admit that.

(Re)starting while the nature is getting ready to rest.

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Unlike in the real (continental) Europe in Finland the autumn has already arrived – pretty much everyone is back at work, children are back at school, leaves are slowly turning yellow, the sun angle is smaller, too (read: shining into your face all the time), there is actual darkness at nights and all the new hobbies at adult and children’s education centres are about to commence within the next couple of weeks. The nature is getting ready to rest, everything is slowing down, and we are entering new life phases and making big changes. Alright!

Yes: another “starting afresh” post from me – but, to be honest, since getting a kid I’m constantly on some kind of a learning curve as opposed of being trapped in some kind of a stereotype. Every day is different, every day has some great highs and absolutely dreadful lows, and, some inevitable have-to-survive-this moments. This doesn’t mean I need some change in my life regarding (baby) free-time, I absolutely do, but I live in my own happy space-time where the only indicator of the time as understood by other people is my little Lela.

This, too, shall soon change, but I have to admit that me, a person who aspires, will achieve and needs results (and compares the results with pretty much anything in the world), have finally learnt to take small steps and allow myself take time in letting the changes sink in. Also, there have been some profound changes in my life recently, and no, not just Lela-related. I grow as a person. I’m full of ides. I have been changing my diet and my lifestyle as such. I buy very little and recycle a lot. And, while I’m so looking forward to boxing again this autumn, I do not feel I’m starting afresh. Rather, I’m just accepting that things have changed for some time (just like the furrowed lake surface in the picture above), and I’m just in the flow. All is good.

Thinking aloud #1: People with a skill are super attractive.

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Never mind the actual skill, I really find whoever knows their ropes really interesting.

As a child, I was never led to find and keep a hobby. Something I could get skills and friends through, besides the joy of doing the hobby, and I have to say that I feel the aftermath of this voidness even nowadays. Maybe that’s why I nowadays (and maybe even back in the days) my respect to those with a skill – playing an instrument, mastering the perfect cartwheel, knowing one or more programming languages, etc. –  grows instantly, and so does their overall attractiveness score. There is not such a thing as a boring nerd.

And because there is a little bit of Lela in everything I do nowadays, let me just say that this is how I wish to bring her up. Respect comes from wisdom and skill (and love), not from power or fear.

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(unrelated picture from our trip to Warsaw a long time ago… yeah, a few months at least)

Doing in order not to be not doing it. And pictures from Warsaw.

Blogroll, Likes, SoMe, Traveling

I think that we all remember our parents asking us with a lot of reproach at some point in our childhood or teenhood that annoying and well-worn question “If (s)he jumped off a bridge would you?” – usually as a reaction to our pitiable excuse for doing that silly something that that friend did too (and before us).

Now, many years later, I noticed a social trend (ha!) that has become even so obvious with the wide-spread use of social media. I called it doing it for not not doing it. It is a bit like doing what our peers are doing. Only his time we are not following a silly friend, but we are doing what others in our physical, social, industry or virtual surrounding – and, importantly, very often those we do not know – are doing not for the thrill, but for the fear of being labeled as “those who are not doing it“. It is rather interesting, nowadays we hear from everywhere that we should be original and not be afraid to step out or think outside the box (anyone else hates these buzzphrases?), yet the fear of not being a member of the herd is real. 

For example several weeks before the Helsinki Pride, random companies, organisations, associations, political parties, restaurants, probably even daycare centres and post offices, well, everybody was turning all rainbow and sexual minorities aware and friendly (errr… I don’t know how a company of tens of thousands employees can “be” anything in the first place, but let’s leave this aside for now), and of course, there is nothing wrong with it when you actually mean it, feel for the rights of minorities and your (organisation’s) values are somehow connected to those of the minorities – but at some points, the number of fans and supporters reached a critical mass and the support became and issue of who is not with us.

And that is wrong.

It forces peoples and organisations to hypocrisy and soulless trend following, and dishonour the original thought or cause.

Surely, trends spread and once they have reached enough people and have lingered about for a while, they are replaced by another one. Yet one thing is the way trends emerge and spread, yet whole another is how we are forced to submit to the trend in order not to be associated with its opposite.

So no, just because I’m not not Charlie or I do not associate myself openly with Helsinki Pride, it does not mean that I do not feel with the editorial staff of Charlie Hedbo or that I’m a homophobe. I just don’t want to be a part of this.

And now time for a batch of completely unrelated pictures: Warsaw. On analog camera. I liked the city and I’m satisfied with the way the pictures turned out.

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… and a picture everyone who has ever been to Warsaw has:

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Care.

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Among recognisable signs that someone actually cares for you is a simple French braid. Someone took pain to touch your hair and plait it pretty. Or polished your nails. Or made a dish for you that they don’t like. Or actually said that they care for you. Or let you sleep on you all day when you had fever. Or puts up with night feeds or your habits and moods. Or you just think you see that in their eyes.

And you feel accepted and calm.

I miss being in Prague. I miss my family and friends, I miss knowing the ways of doing, I miss knowing where I am going… but my place right now is, well, where I am right now.